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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 13, 2008

Dear Sis~

With the help of our Ace private investigator, Jan, we now know that my transfer back to Florida was instigated by the Virginia DOC in general, and by Loretta Kelly (aka the Dragon Lady), the warden at Sussex I State Prison. As you know, Loretta has had it in for me ever since she was embarrassed by the newspaper over her abysmal treatment of Percy Walton a year ago. She was called to task by Gov. Kaine and the head of the DOC, and she made it clear back then, that she was going to retaliate. Even then, I'd heard rumors that she was openly stating her intention to have me shipped back to Florida, but after 3 or 4 months went by, I figured she's failed in her efforts. Not so! Anyway, it's a relief knowing that the move was unrelated to any imminent signing of my death warrant.
Speaking of warrants, a guy behind me, Wayne Tompkins, is scheduled for execution next week. He was originally set to die 2 weeks ago, but obtained a temporary stay. He's on his third death warrant. If the execution takes place, and if Gov. Crist follows his past practice, he'll sign another warrant within 2-3 weeks. By the way, we have five known "volunteers" here, guys who have legally and officially waived all appeals and are demanding to be executed. One guy, whom I know well (on the row for 15 years) has been agitating for his execution for years, to no avail. He writes letters to the governor, the Attorney General, anyone he can think of, vocally demanding to be executed, but Gov. Crist just ignores him (and the other volunteers)...
I went to the rec yard the other day, my first time in a "big" rec yard in nine years. (Big is a relative term...the yard is about 90 feet x 75 feet, with about 20-25 guys out there at any given time. But it sure beats the dog run cages in Virginia). On the yard, I met a few old timers I knew before I left. I learned that 2 guys I know died earlier this year. Bill Elledge (on the row 31 years), who had a history of asthma, developed lung cancer and died a lingering, painful death in his cell. A guy who was on his floor said that in his final weeks you could hear him all night long gasping for breath and moaning in pain until he finally gave up the ghost. This is a typical prison death from any type of terminal disease, virtually no treatment, you die alone in your cell usually in agony - I've seen it happen to countless men. The other guy, on the row since 1985, just gave up. He used a razor blade to open both wrists, and (for good measure) his femoral arteries in both legs, then crawled under his blanket and bled out. They only discovered it when he didn't answer at count time the next day. Twenty-three years in a single man cell, devoid of hope, can do that to you. One day, the weight just becomes too much, the balance shifts, and you decide it's time to go. I'm not going to go out that way, though. If they want me dead (and they do!), they're going to have to take my life, and the onus will be on them. On that note, I'll close and go to bed.
Love & Peace,
Bill

3 comments:

The Ghost of adlai stevenson said...

Where's the fun in executing someone who wants to die?

They'll keep that guy alive for another fifteen, just out of perversity.

clara said...

bill im reading your book .a checkered past ,its very interesting and well written my regards to you Bill i love you more and more

clara said...

happy thanksgiving BILL and LISA Hope ya have a good time